Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rusch, Smith, Rose in the house

Two wonderful additions to the guide, as Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith have contributed use of two articles each. Smith is author of 90 books and Rusch is not far behind, and she's also written numerous award-winning stories. Both work in a variety of genres. Their blogs are highly recommended for the practical-minded writer, as they have been surviving and even thriving off of freelance fiction for 20 years. They also tend to shoot down conventional wisdom, or at least offer sound reasons why convention only works for certain people.

And international bestseller M.J. Rose has walked in as well...welcome, MJ! She's owner of AuthorBuzz and also created "The Reincarnationist" series, which you can find on your television as soon as you tear your eyes away from the computer...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why writing advice is

I was writing on my personal blog about Laura Miller's Salon article on "Reader advice," and ended up musing about how most of the writing advice I gave was either wrong, or I refused to follow it, or both. Luckily, there are wiser people than me giving advice, which is why I sought a collaborative project that can really help writers in this rapidly changing era. To fit the times, the book will be organic, so look for a cute little "V.2" for Version 2 and so on as it develops in the months and years ahead.

Because even good advice can get dated (see: Ribbons, typewriter--buy in bulk), the worst advice can be cut out and more timely advice introduced. For example, with ebook prices shooting all over the map, you will not get any sensible advice on royalties or contract clauses for them, because nobody knows. Like all free advice, it's worth what you pay for it. Take what you need and leave the rest. And pass it on.

Some outlets, such as Amazon, don't allow free downloads unless you're a major publisher swinging some sort of deal, so the download will be set at the lowest possible price in those outlets, with any revenues donated to First Book, a non-profit organization that buys books for disadvantaged children.

Set-up is simple right now, with three sections: Craft, Business, and Art. I'm not sure there's much else a writer needs to know, except to ignore everything and write.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Douglas Clegg and Alexandra Sokoloff on board

I am very pleased to have two brilliant and generous folks joining the project. Douglas Clegg practically co-invented (with MJ Rose) the Buzz Your Book concept and will offer tips on querying and promoting. Alexandra Sokoloff is a screenwriter and novelist with a great insight on storytelling.

Clegg is the author of more than 20 books, including Isis and the Vampyricon series, and was an e-book pioneer with the release of several e-serial novels in the late 1990s, and is a personal inspiration to me.

Sokoloff's books include The Price, The Harrowing, and The Unseen, and she's also the author of Screenwriting Tricks for Authors (And Screenwriters!). I taught with Alex at Deborah Leblanc's Pen to Press (a great workshop, by the way) and I learned more from her in a week than in the previous 10 years on my own.

We're assembling the initial version now to release through Haunted Computer Books, and since it's organic, we'll update and revise as the 21st Century unfolds.